Quick and Delicious Low Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup in the Pressure Cooker

It’s fall and that means I use my pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) more than ever. It’s soup weather! This is a super easy Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Low Carb Zuppa Toscana soup. If you’re a purist, know that I use the term Zuppa Toscana loosely. This recipe replaces potatoes with cauliflower to save time and keep the carb count low.

This is a hearty, comforting soup that keeps and stores well (you can freeze it). I actually prefer the taste of this version to traditional Zuppa Toscana! Plus, when you don’t have to cook potatoes it comes together much faster – from start to finish and it took about 15 minutes total!! No complicated ingredients needed. Even if you don’t have kale or cream on hand you can whip up this soup in no time. In fact, I recommend keeping Italian sausage on hand and in the freezer for that reason.

pressure cooker zuppa toscana low carb soup


This recipe is keto friendly. That means it’s not low fat. It’s a fatty soup because you’re not draining the fat from the Italian Sausage. I was inspired by this recipe from Two Sleevers. Check out her ethnic-inspired Instant Pot recipes.

Here’s my secret: I love this soup at it’s most basic form with or without kale. You can also substitute spinach for the kale but kale holds it’s shape better. She adds parmesan and uses frozen cauliflower and kale but I used fresh.

You don’t need to add any spices or salt to this soup because the sausage adds all of the flavor.

pressure cooker low carb italian and kale soup

Carbs and Calories Saved: Potatoes vs Cauliflower

Even though I don’t miss the potatoes at all, I wanted to see what the difference was in carbs and calories when you use cauliflower.

  • 1 cup of potato with the skin on has 116 calories, no fat, and 26 grams of carbs
  • 1 cup of raw or cooked cauliflower contains 27 calories, 0.3 g of fat, and about 5 grams of carbs

So you save 89 calories per cup and cut the carbs by 21. That’s significant!! As a comparison, a moderate number of carbs is 100-150 grams per day. Also, I know you’re not going to be able to stop at just one cup of this divine soup, so bank those carbs for something else. I know you won’t be able to eat just a cup of this soup, so double or triple those numbers!

chop the cauliflower

 The fat in this soup will keep you full longer and makes it taste amazing. However, if you think it’s too much, you can easily cut back on the fat.
  • Drain the fat from the sausage after you saute it
  • Chill the soup and skim the fat before serving
  • Replace the cream for half and half or milk and thicken with some flour or corn starch


Note: the following are affiliate links.

Electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot (these are the models I bought). The Instant Pot is a little easier to use but more expensive unless you get it on Prime Day when it goes on sale every year and is a top seller).

Zyliss garlic press – I use this highly rated zyliss garlic press because you don’t need to peel your garlic first.

Copper Chef chef knife – I love this brand overall and their knives are great too.

minced garlic in a jar

Pressure Cooker Low Carb Tosca Toscana Soup

I recommend you double or triple this recipe and have leftovers – I made it in an 8 quart pressure cooker and it didn’t even fill it half way.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins

Servings: 6
Calories: 400 kcal

Ingredients for the Soup
1 cup onion diced (if I’m in a hurry I use frozen)
6 cloves garlic minced (if I’m in a hurry I use jarred, a big teaspoon full)
1 pound Italian sausage removed from casing (I use mild)
12 oz cauliflower (can use frozen) or a full head chopped into pieces
12 oz kale (can use frozen, optional)
3 cups water

Later add:

1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream. If you don’t have cream or want to cut back on calories, melt 1/3 cup of butter and whisk in three-quarters of a cup of milk.


Turn your pressure cooker on to Sauté or warm. When it is hot, add in the sausage and break up the meat with a wooden spoon. You want it to be broken up into smaller bits like ground beef. My pressure cooker gets hot on the warm setting and can burn so don’t leave the sausage unattended.

Add the onions and garlic and mix well. It’s ok if the sausage isn’t thoroughly cooked through because it will when it’s pressure cooked. Add the cauliflower. Add 3 cups of water and close the pressure cooker.

Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes then allow to release pressure naturally for 5 minutes. Slowly release all remaining pressure. Or just let it release on it’s own – you can’t really overcook the cauliflower because you want it to fall apart. This is a thinner soup which I like but you can thicken it with flour or cornstarch (this will add carbs and calories).

Stir and add whipping cream or milk. Add shredded kale. Mash the cauliflower with the back of the spoon.

Just Add Salad

Make a quick tossed salad with craisens, toasted walnuts and homemade vinaigrette (this is where I’d add the shaved parmesan that she suggests in the soup) and enjoy a healthier and hearty fall lunch or dinner. This would also be a great thing to give to a neighbor or new mom who needs a meal!

Also check out my favorite pressure cooker thai soup recipe.

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